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UP professors, officials back walkout

Professors and administrators of the University of the Philippines (UP) expressed support to the walk-out protest scheduled on Tuesday to defend “academic freedom.”

The activity is the students’ answer to proposals of the military and police to enter universities.

UP Student Regent Isaac Punzalan has declared Tuesday as “UP Day of Walkout and Action.”

“The proposed entry and intervention of the police and the military in state universities, including UP, is expected to result in massive surveillance and monitoring on our students, faculty and officials, especially those who are vocally critical. Our academic freedom is at high risk of being taken away from us as we become vulnerable to baseless accusations, intimidation, and harassment,” Punzalan said in a memorandum dated August 14.

University officials, including UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan, UP Cebu’s Liza Corro and other college deans and department heads have officially endorsed the walkout.

Professors from the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy University of the Philippines Diliman (Contend) also expressed support and pledged to march with the students.

Contend denounced allegations that teachers were “brainwashing” students and that the university had been vilified as a hub for “deceptive recruitment.”

“As educators and education workers … We will continue to teach our students the value and importance of human rights in a democratic society,” the group said in a statement.

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